Inn by the Sea announced the appointment of David Brown as executive chef. According an Oct. 28 news release, Brown, who served as executive sous chef at the inn for two years, “will now step up to lead a familiar and well-seasoned crew.”

David Brown, the new executive chef at Inn by the Sea. Courtesy photo

“The chef will develop and execute regionally sourced menus for Sea Glass, the inn’s award-winning, ocean view restaurant,” said Michael Briggs, the inn’s managing director. “As executive chef he will oversee all aspects of the property’s dining options including lounge, room and pool service, weddings, social events and corporate meetings.

“We are delighted to have Chef David Brown move up to take over leadership in the kitchen and deepen our longstanding commitment to local producers. The chef’s approachable menu, with a concept of ‘food for all’, will bring people together around the table.”

Brown has more than 20 years of culinary experience at restaurants in Portland, upstate New York, and Arkansas.
A Maine native, he began his career as a 14-year-old student working in the dish pit at Uncle Andy’s in South Portland. After honing cooking skills for several years in Portland restaurants, he left the state to launch himself into the restaurant scene around the Finger Lakes in upstate New York.

“A decade of travel and meeting new people in culinary settings gave me exposure to a variety of approaches and insight into the different directions taken by chefs,” said Brown in an email.

He was mentored by Chef Austin Johnson, who was trained by culinary pioneer Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Avenue. Brown worked with Johnson to reopen The Krebs, a Skaneateles restaurant that has served presidents, and dignitaries for over a century. Profits from the farm-to-table restaurant were donated to women’s and children’s charities. Brown went on to positions at Simeon’s, in Ithaca, New York, and The Griffin, a farm to table restaurant in the Murphy Art District in Arkansas before returning home to join the culinary team at the Inn by the Sea as sous chef.

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“I plan to simplify menus and focus on seasonality and quality of ingredients with a clean, uncluttered cooking style,” said Brown. “The ingredients should speak for themselves, with recipes that support the flavors they have to offer.”

According to the news release, “Brown will team up with veteran Sea Glass Food and Beverage Director, Shayne Conlon. They intend to showcase local producers and seafood in both Sea Glass and through intimate dining experiences and events. In addition to planning menus with an emphasis on regional ingredients, the culinary team is focused on providing a unique coastal experience for guests, whether dining in ocean view Sea Glass restaurant, the cozy fireplace lounge or pairing small plates with hand crafted cocktails on the outdoor decks around fire tables. Chef Brown’s seasonal menus will be complemented with pairings from the restaurant’s deep wine cellar of 350 labels and over 2,000 bottles and awarded Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.”

Ketcha Outdoors hires new executive director

The Ketcha Outdoors board of directors announced Laragh Kavanaugh as the new executive director for the organization. According to an Oct. 14 news release, “Laragh brings over 20 years of leadership experience to the role of executive director, both as an outdoor educator and as a director at an international nonprofit. From guiding youth wilderness expeditions for Outward Bound, to leading international programs in India and Ghana, to directing operations for Maine-based Council on International Educational Exchange, Laragh’s breadth of nonprofit management and youth development experience will serve Ketcha’s community well.”

“Ketcha Outdoors plays an important role in our community and builds caring, confident youth who respect the natural world,” Kavanaugh said in an email. “I am committed to delivering safe and high-quality programming, enhancing communication and building inclusive communities. Having grown up in Maine and since becoming a parent, I understand the positive impact the natural world has on youth and how important access to quality outdoor programs is to Maine families and communities.”

Since 1964, Ketcha Outdoors has provided children of all ages with connections to the land and the confidence to create their sense of place in the world. The year-round nonprofit outdoor education organization is most well known in the community as Camp Ketcha in Scarborough. The Scarborough location offers a summer day camp, preschool and pre-k programs, after-school care, and other nature-based youth programming. The organization also administers the Portland Gear Hub, a nonprofit bike and outdoor gear shop in downtown Portland, which increases access to the outdoors through affordable, reliable gear, and education. The Gear Hub offers free earn-a-bike programming to youth and adults, teaches bike maintenance classes, and sells refurbished bikes, camping gear, and cross-country skis.

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“Having received over 70 applications for executive director, the Ketcha Outdoors community feels very fortunate to have Laragh Kavanaugh accept this exciting challenge of leading the Scarborough and Portland campuses into our next chapter of service to the greater Portland community,”  said Jay Evans, Ketcha Outdoors board president, in an email. “With Laragh’s thoughtful leadership and strategic mindset, Ketcha is well poised to serve Maine’s children, families, and individuals for many years to come.”

Church offers monthly bean suppers.

Peoples United Methodist Church hosts bean suppers on the third Saturday of each month. The next bean supper is 5 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 19. The church is located at 310 Broadway in South Portland.

The menu features hot dogs, homemade baked beans, casseroles and pies. The cost is $11/person or $20/couple. Age 12 and younger, the cost is $6.

For more information, call 207-799-3416.

Craft Fair at the Hub is Nov. 19

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The third annual Craft Fair at the Hub is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19. The craft fair is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Craft Fair at the Hub is located on Route 77 in the plaza next to CVS in Cape Elizabeth.

First Congregational plans Holiday Fair

A Traditional Christmas will be the focus of the annual Holiday Fair at First Congregational Church of Scarborough. The fair is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the church, located at 167 Black Point Road in Scarborough.

Items featured in the Parish Hall will be holiday greens, Christmas items, quilts, crafts, jewelry, gift baskets, knit goods, homemade baked goods/jams/jellies, candy and the annual Cookie Walk. Coffee and breakfast snacks will be available.

Proceeds will go to the church’s charitable efforts. Masks are optional. The fair is disability accessible via a chair lift. For more information, call the church office at 883-2342.

Peoples United Methodist schedules Christmas Fair

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Peoples United Methodist Church will host its Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair on Saturday, Dec. 3. The fair is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Peoples United Methodist Church is located at 310 Broadway in South Portland.

The fair will feature include baked goods, candy, jewelry, holiday decorations, handcrafted gifts, books, new/nearly new items, and trash-to-treasure.

A luncheon is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The menu includes chili, seafood chowder, corn chowder and hot dogs. For more information, call 233-8870.

Rotary Christmas tree sale begins Nov. 25

The South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary will host its Christmas tree sale in Mill Creek Park for the 60th year. The holiday tree shopping experience begins Friday, Nov. 25. Courtesy photo

The South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary will host its Christmas tree sale in Mill Creek Park for the 60th year. The holiday tree shopping experience begins Friday, Nov. 25, at 10 a.m., and continues until about 2,000 Maine-grown Christmas trees and wreaths are purchased.

Christmas tree lot shopping hours on Rotary’s Mill Creek Park tree lot are Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 3 to 7 p.m.. The lost is closed on Tuesdays.

Customers wishing to order a tree or wreath online to be picked up on the Christmas tree lot can visit www.rotarychristmastrees.com.

The Rotary Club said 100 percent of Christmas tree sale proceeds are returned to our community through contributions to not-for-profit organizations and schools to help neighbors cope with pressing issues such as food security, youth services, behavioral health, veteran needs, and safe and stable housing.

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